by Brian Nadeau
September 27, 2019
More big doings in this week's Stronach 5, as not only is it Opening Day at Santa Anita, but there is also a $107,353 carryover, which means the total pool should easily surpass $500,000. To refresh, the Stronach 5 is a Pk5 wager spread across as many as four tracks and up to three surfaces (dirt, Tapeta and turf), inside of 45 minutes, with a $1 minimum and ridiculously low 12% takeout. I'll be putting together some prospective tickets in this space each week for a wager that is undoubtedly as good as it gets for the bettors.
*** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 48 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 4pm Friday for an update, as well as on Twitter. ***
Leg 1: Laurel Park R8 (5:09 ET) – 3upfm 16k MCL at 5 1/2 furlongs (turf)
On the face of it the opener looks a bit overwhelming, but there are more than a few that can't win, so once you eliminate the dead weight it becomes a bit less daunting. There's also not a ton of speed signed on, which will flatter the chances of both #3 SUZETTE STAR and #1 TEMPTED BY TITO'S, who have both shown solid turf form, while not yet proving they don't want to win a horse race. This is also the type of race where being unproven is a positive, and that's what you get with #2 CAN THE QUEEN, a firster who debuts for Sanchez-Salomon, who is 26% on the year, and 31% with Cruz riding.
Pk5 A horses: 3,1,2
The wide draw really hurts #12 DIXIE'S FASCINATOR but if you look at the last time she turf sprinted she was 4th against better in a very fast race for the level, so she's worth a look against this crew. I'm going to use both #7 ODDSEVERINURFAVOR and #8 PRINCESS ROSIE, and though neither inspire and will need to improve, they should sit good trips just off the speed and aren't that far behind the best on paper.
Pk5 B horses: 12,7,8
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R7 (5:26 ET) –2yo 25k MCL at 1-mile (turf)
With plenty of coverage in other legs, I'm using three here and calling it a day, as #1 COSMIC ASSAULT drew best of all and should like the MSW drop after a dirt tightener on debut; #3 FRIO didn't like the blinkers or a terrible draw last time but shows two sharp turf runs two and three-back; and #9 VERDICT IS IN got to the grass last time and really improved when 2nd.
Pk5 A horses: 1,3,9 (Please note I'll use only #1 here and #6 and #12 in Leg 5 with the Leg 3 backups, to keep the ticket affordable)
There are plenty of others who could be factors, most notably #7 The Doer, #5 Bacano, #10 Hugoigo, and #11 El Duque, but the top trio inspire more and have as much, if not more upside, and we have to draw a line somewhere, so we'll use only the top line here.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 3: Santa Anita R4 (5:30 ET) – 3upfm AOC (40k/N1X) at 1-mile (turf)
We welcome the Great Race Place back and I'm hoping to use some California speed to pop this field, as #5 SUNRISE ROYALE should be able to clear on the stretchout from a quartet of turf sprints, and Kruljac is a stiff 20% going sprint-to-route, so I'm going to be bold and hope she forgets to stop.
Pk5 A horses: 5
If the single doesn't wire then it's more of a guessing game, but both #7 AN EDDIE SURPRISE and #8 GALLOVIE have several solid races showing and won't be too far out of it early, so I'll use them in supporting roles.
Pk5 B horses: 7,8
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields (5:45 ET) –3upfm AOC (25k/N1X) at 1-mile
Post position is at a premium here, so looking inside might be the right idea, as there's a very quick run to the first turn. With that being said, this looks like a total crap shoot, so I'll try a bit of a spread and go with #1 HURLEY, #2 SWING THOUGHTS, #7 MESO, and #4 PLEASE DO, as all of them have some solid form and some tactical speed as well.
Pk5 A horses: 1,2,7,4
Contention runs deep, however, so let's add in #5 IT'S ALEXUS, #6 THE SPIRAL JETTER, and #9 RUBY BRADLEY, since they aren't far behind the top-4 and would be no surprise, if they deliver their best.
Pk5 B horses: 5,6,9
Leg 5: Laurel Park R10 (6:16 ET) – 3upfm 16k N2L at 1-mile (turf)
The finale is a toughie, since the best three horses—#12 MAMA DEE, #11 SMOKIN CARAQUENA, and #10 MISS ALIPHANT—are all drawn outside, but they look a bit better than the rest, so they have to be used on the top line. However, the top pick lands on #6 GRAVEYARD SHIFT, who broke his maiden at Ellis last time and now goes off the claim for Pino (18%) and lands Sanchez, which is a 32% trainer-jockey combo.
Pk5 A horses: 6,12,11,10 (Please note I'll use only #6 and #12 with the Leg 1, Leg 4, and Leg 5 backups, to keep them affordable)
The two class droppers—#8 HOLIDAY HOPES and #9 HEAVENLY HATTIE—are both fringe players who could wake up at the level, though they're also the types you want to use defensively, if at all.
Pk5 B horses: 8,9
Main Ticket: 3,1,2 with 1,3,9 with 5 with 1,2,7,4 with 6,12,11,10 = $144
Leg 1 B Backup: 12,7,8 with 1,3,9 with 5 with 1,2,7,4 with 6,12 = $72
Leg 3 B Backup: 3,1,2 with 1 with 7,5 with 1,2,7,4 with 6,12 = $48
Leg 4 B Backup: 3,1,2 with 1,3,9 with 5 with 5,6,9 with 6,12 = $54
Leg 5 B Backup: 3,1,2 with 1,3,9 with 5 with 1,2,7,4 with 8,9 = $72